It has taken me a long time to learn to be comfortable with vulnerability and transparency, to show the brokenness that takes residence in my heart. I am still learning, and the Lord, in His graciousness, keeps breaking my heart. More time than I would like Him to, and I am learning to be transparent and honest about that, too. It still takes everything that I have, to let the world see the bruised corners and crumbling walls of my heart.

What I have found, what no one tells you — is that the most exhausting thing to do is to live with a broken heart. Because a heart that has been broken and bruised, weighs heavier than anything else in this world. It carries all the pieces of the broken dreams and frozen hopes that we had to let go. It carries the streams of tears, all the sleepless nights and questions. It carries sorrow — so much of the heavy sorrow that can expand uncontrollably within the timespan of a minute.

What I have noticed in walking through seasons of brokenness, though, is that I am never the only one. No matter what brokenness my heart has held, there are always these beautiful people who have joined me, telling me, “I know. Me too.”

“What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord,
    who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
When they walk through the Valley of Weeping,
    it will become a place of refreshing springs.
    The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.
They will continue to grow stronger,
    and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.” (Psalm 84:5-7 NLT)

I have to confess, I know so little about brokenness even now. Yes, in the days filled with self-pity I tell myself that I have had to walk through many a hard season, more so than I would hope for anyone to experience. Yet I know that is not true — because I have found immense beauty in brokenness.

You see, what no one tells you — is that broken hearts are the most beautiful ones. Broken hearts can become anything: brave, bold, soft, kind, gentle, loving, wise. Broken hearts can be all that — because they know pain, because they have walked on shattered pieces of a life but still held on to the remnants of hope. Broken hearts know the beating of the broken heart of our Savior, and they have known the gentle, scarred hands that held them together through every season.

In the days we are walking through the darkest of the valleys, it is difficult to see a purpose in our pain and brokenness. But our hearts know the One who is leading us forward, the One who holds our hearts — and He is good. So we know, so we can be certain that something better is coming, and He is making everything beautiful in His time.

“Who knows why God allows heartbreak, but the answer must be important enough because God allows His heart to break too.” (Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way)

David Mathis writes with wisdom: “If we are in Christ, God makes our pain a channel of his grace to bring about a deeper trusting and delighting in him. Without answering all our questions about pain in detail, we learn that God is greater, and his purposes more mysterious and wiser, than we can fathom; and that pain, in his good providence and plan, is his strange grace to draw us to him — not simply a question requiring an answer on our terms.”

So friend, if you are walking through a season of brokenness, of hurt and sorrow? If you are lost, doubts swirling around your mind and having a hard time finding a way? If you are ready to give up, to give in?

Yeah, me too.

But no matter what your heart holds today, no matter where you are in this moment — there is a purpose for your brokenness. There is a beauty becoming in your heart, a deeper understanding and trust of what is true. There is always hope, even though the storm is raging and it is difficult to see any glimpses of light right now. There is always hope.

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